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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 23 September 2010) . . Page.. 4496 ..

(1) How many (a) permanent, (b) temporary contract and (c) casual, (i) teaching and (ii) non teaching staff were employed by the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) for (A) 2006-07, (B) 2007-08, (C) 2008-09, (D) 2009-10 and (E) 2010-11 to date.

(2) How many positions identified as permanent were at some stage filled by temporary contract or casual staff.

(3) Does the Government have a strategy for increasing the level of permanent employment at CIT.

Mr Barr: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The CIT operates on a calendar year financial basis (January to December). For 2006-07, 2007-08, 2009-10 I would refer you to CIT’s Annual Reports.

(2) The Canberra Institute of Technology Act 1987 directs that CIT staff are employed under the Public Sector Management Act 1994 (PSMA). This is the same Act that most ACT government agencies are staffed under.

As with all ACT public service Agencies, the Public Sector Management Act 1994 provides that the CIT Chief Executive may approve the creation of an office in CIT with an approved classification (i.e. ASO 4). Each office is designated with a position number in order for them to be differentiated from each other. The term “office” is what might generally be referred to as a position.

A created office or “position” is not classified as permanent or temporary in nature.

However, staff employed in these offices or positions are employed in either a permanent or temporary capacity dependant on the business needs of the CIT. Naturally, these business needs change over time and so while on one occasion an office may be filled temporarily, on another occasion a decision may be made to fill the role permanently.

When casual staff are employed they are not held against an office.

(3) The Canberra Institute of Technology has an Enterprise Agreement covering teaching staff and a Collective Agreement covering general staff. Both Agreements provide an acknowledgement that the parties are committed to promoting permanent employment and job security for employees within the Institute.

To that end the Agreements stipulate that CIT will endeavour to minimise the use of temporary and casual employment, including limiting the use of these employment types to circumstances where there is no permanent officer available with the requisite skills or if the work is urgent or specialised and it is not practical to utilise the services  of a permanent officer. Also included is a provision which stipulates when casual employment can be used.

Both agreements provide for the monitoring of vacant “positions” with reporting to and consultation with relevant unions on the filling of these “positions” on a permanent basis. In addition, the Agreements provide a mechanism for temporary staff to be made permanent without a further merit process where certain criteria are met. A significant number of staff over the years have gained permanency in this way.

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